First, it was a best-selling novel, then a sell-out stage production – and now Boy Swallows Universe is set to become a Netflix series.

The adaptation of Trent Dalton’s international best-selling novel Boy Swallows Universe will film in Brisbane next month.

The highly anticipated eight-part series will be produced by Sydney-based Brouhaha Entertainment and screen on Netflix.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said there is no better place for the story of Brisbane boy Eli Bell to be filmed than right here in the Greater Brisbane area.

“Brisbane-based author Trent Dalton captivated the world with his brutal yet magical tale set in 1980s Brisbane among iconic local landmarks such as Boggo Road Gaol and Brisbane City Hall’s clock tower,” the Premier said.

“This uniquely Brisbane production will also boost our local screen industry by injecting around $33 million into the Queensland economy and creating approximately 185 jobs for cast and crew, and an estimated 2500 extras.”

Boy Swallows Universe follows working-class Brisbane teenager Eli Bell in a whirlwind story about drug addiction, ex-cons, poverty, violence and the discovery of hope through the power of love.

Boy Swallows Universe stage production premiered in Brisbane in 2021 (QLD Theatre)

The novel was first published in 2018 by Harper Collins and holds the record as the fastest-selling Australia debut novel ever.

Author Trent Dalton. (Source: Photo by Lyndon Mechielsen)

Author of the book and Executive Producer Trent Dalton said following on from a critically-acclaimed stage adaptation in 2021 by Queensland Theatre as part of Brisbane Festival, it was a logical next step to take Boy Swallows Universe to the screen, using Brisbane locations and local crew.

“It just makes sense. This adaptation to the screen couldn’t happen anywhere else, and I am proud to be part of this exciting adventure on my home turf.

Boy Swallows Universe is my very deep and personal love letter to my city of Brisbane. I’m so incredibly honoured to know the Queensland Government and Screen Queensland is helping us mail that letter around the world,” said Mr Dalton.

The series is adapted for screen by writer John Collee (Master and Commander, Happy Feet, Hotel Mumbai). Executive Producers are Troy Lum (The Water Diviner, Saving Mr Banks, Mao’s Last Dancer), Andrew Mason (The Matrix, The Water Diviner), Sophie Gardiner (Howard’s End, Chimerica), Kerry Kohansky-Roberts (Foe, Boy Erased) and Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby, Bright, The King).

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